The fundamentals of proper funeral etiquette are crucial to knowing how to communicate properly with the deceased person’s grieving family, while exuding dignity and respect during the funeral service.

Should I attend the funeral?

Since funerals aren’t usually an “invite-only” event, it can be difficult to decide whether or not you should attend. If you knew the deceased, it is an opportunity for you to remember their life and pay your respects. If you did not know the deceased but are close to the family, then it is a way for you to show them your support.

You should not attend a funeral if you feel that your presence will make the family uncomfortable or if it is clearly a private event.

etiquette warman sk funeral and cremation

What do I wear to a funeral?

 Although wearing black is not a requirement for all funerals, you should opt to wear clothing that is conservative. You’ll want to appear dignified and respectful; bright colors and patterns could send the wrong message to the mourning family.

You should not attend a funeral if you feel that your presence will make the family uncomfortable or if it is clearly a private event.

Where do I sit at a funeral?

 The first and second rows of seats are typically reserved for the close family and friends of the deceased. All other attendees should sit in the remaining rows. If you arrive late, be respectful by sitting in the back as to not disturb others.

etiquette warman sk funeral and cremations

What should I say at a funeral?

 A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts are with you” are sufficient enough to express your support. Acknowledge their pain by saying something like “This must be so hard for you,” to show that you care for them which will help them feel less isolated.

When should I arrive at a funeral?

 A good rule of thumb is to arrive 10-20 minutes early to allow for a few moments to interact with other guests before the service begins. If you arrive late, do not walk down the center aisle to take your seat. Instead, use the side aisle to find a seat near the back as to avoid interrupting the service.

What if I don’t share the deceased family’s religious beliefs?

 A funeral is all about paying your respects to the deceased, which you can simply do by standing and listening to the ceremony that’s taking place in front of you.

Should I bring a gift?

You can either bring flowers with you to the funeral or can choose to have it delivered to the funeral home beforehand. In addition, you can also send flowers to the residence where the post-funeral reception will take place.

If you’re close to the family, consider bringing over a homemade meal to their home. If you aren’t close to the family, but still want to share your condolences, a thoughtful card is a great way to comfort them, as is a donation in lieu of flowers to the cause or charity chosen by the family.

etiquette warman sk funeral home and cremation

Are kids allowed at a funeral?

 It is okay to bring children to a funeral if they are well-behaved. Toddlers and babies should be left at home with a babysitter as they may require more of your attention, and distract you from being mentally present at the funeral.

Can I use my smartphone at a funeral?

Please keep your smartphone on silent and put away for the majority of the service. A funeral is also not the time or place to take photos unless you have the family’s permission to do so.

etiquette warman sk funeral home

What do I do at a graveside service?

When making your way to the gravesite, avoid walking directly on other graves, memorial stones, and plaques.

Once you arrive at the graveside memorial, you will see chairs lined up. These are reserved solely for close family members of the deceased. Stand behind the chairs. If you are wearing a hat, remove it during the service.

Contact one of our locations to start planning.